“My daughter told me yesterday, ‘I’m ready for kindergarten.’”

PHLpreK student Alyssa is 3 years old and attends Elwyn in West Philly. Her mom Ariel enrolled her two months ago, and has already noticed how much she is learning.

“They really encourage the kids and they’re always doing something. There’s never a day where she’s not learning. She tells me something new every day.”

“She is painting, learning her letters, and her colors. Pre-K is her speed,” said Ariel. Before enrolling in PHLpreK, Alyssa attended a daycare, and before that, she stayed at home with Ariel’s mother.

Without PHLpreK, Ariel says, “She’d have to go back to my mom’s. I can’t say how grateful I am for the program because it’s helping me tremendously.”

Ariel is a single parent and works full-time in Center City as a law office file clerk. She drops Alyssa off in the morning, on her way to work. Enrolling her daughter in a pre-K close to her home allows her to continue working, and eases her commute.

“The daycare I used to take her to had me passing my job to pick her up, or drop her off. [Elwyn] is 15 minutes on the bus, then I can walk a block to the El and I’m at work in 10 minutes. It’s so convenient.”

Additionally, Ariel is thankful that her daughter is learning while she is working.

“Before PHLpreK, I felt like I was coming home from work to double the work with teaching her. Now she’s telling me what she’s learning, and we’re going over it and learning new things. As a single mom, it makes my load lighter, and I appreciate it,” said Ariel.

When Alyssa told Ariel that she’s ready for kindergarten, Ariel reminded her that she will have one more year of preschool before kindergarten will start.

“And she’s like no mommy I’m ready,” said Ariel. “I’m excited for her to keep growing and learning. I’m really pleased with what she’s learned so far. She’s only been here since Sept. 9 and she’s learned so much in two months. I’m looking forward to what she’ll learn in the next few months, even a year. Thank you to Mayor Kenney and the program for caring for the kids.”

Call the PHLpreK hotline to learn more about pre-K options throughout Philadelphia: 844-PHL-PREK (844-745-7735). Or, click here to find PHLpreK centers with open seats.